Toll taken on wildlife
MOTORISTS are being advised to be mindful of wildlife on our roads during the busy summer holiday period.
The warning comes after the release of figures showing NSW Ambulance paramedics were called to 224 collisions and near- misses with native animals in the past two years.
The road toll unfortunately has included kangaroos, koalas, wombats, lizards and possums.
The majority of crashes occurred when motorists had swerved to avoid hitting an animal.
In a handful of cases, the incidents involved bites or attacks, the NSW Ambulance Media Unit said.
The majority of incidents involved kangaroos, with the New England leading the figures with 28 incidents and five collisions recorded.
Across the mid-north coast and the Northern Rivers, there were 38 incidents listed during the two-year period.
Most of those - 33 - involved kangaroos, three incidents involved koalas and two involved lizards.
According to NSW Roads and Maritime, one in seven crashes on country roads involves animals.
During dry periods, the potential increases as wildlife make their way to roadsides looking for plant growth.
NSW Ambulance Acting Superintendent Rhys Dive said the above figures would be the tip of the iceberg, with many more motorists hitting wildlife and not requiring an ambulance.
"Staying alert and slowing down - especially at sunrise and sunset when visibility is decreased and animals tend to be more active - can help you avoid a collision and serious injury, even death,” he said.
"Motorists should also prepare if they see any sudden movement from the edges of the road and be patient if a vehicle ahead suddenly slows down or stops.”